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Glenn & Dianne Longbottom

1974 Rambler Matador - The "Pimpmobile"

This is our Rambler Matador. It is a 1974 sedan with a 360 V8 and is “tarted up” a bit! Some people have named it The Pimp-Mobile due to the interior, as it is a red velour, even on the ceiling. I admit it is a bit lairy, but…what the hell we love it and it certainly gets plenty of looks and comments. On the road it can be a bit hairy, due to other drivers drifting in while looking at it and grinning from ear to ear.

Lots of folks get a shock when they see the old bugger driving it though!

We had sold our 1965 Rambler Classic, the “Flamer” and were looking for another car of the marque. I was keen on several beauties in the U.S.A., but was not experienced enough or brave enough to pursue them I had seen this car on the internet several times and thought it was gorgeous, but it was overpriced at close $30k. Only a few weeks after the Flamer left, I looked again and the owner had dropped the price considerably. I rang, talked, queried him and negotiated a further potential drop in price if it was as good as stated. We decided to fly up and see it in Caboolture. Fell in love straight away, bought it, transferred Historic QLD rego to normal QLD rego, then drove it home to Camden! It was a breeze and it flew like the wind too!

It has been in the Elvis parade at Parkes and won a trophy at the Orange Blossom car show in Castle Hill. We love it, and it has all the items Dianne insisted on…air conditioning, velour seats, headrests. No more sticking to the hot vinyl seats in the Flamer. The car came directly from a farm in Condobolin to Caboolture. I am now the 3rd owner.
   

The car was built with showing in mind and had been in many shows in QLD with great success.

The owner was a pin-striper and spray painter.

Yes…the ceiling IS red velour…

   
   

Dianne and I have a policy of getting people involved as much as we can, and have never knocked anyone back if they want a close look. I often encourage people to have a sit in the car or get a photo taken in it. Especially kids and older people.

Without fail they all grin and enjoy without any problem. It may not suit everyone, but I love showing it off! Not really shy me…

       

On the main straight at Sydney International Raceway

We bought the Matador in pretty much the condition it is in now and have had a good run, with only a couple of things needing fixing. One was a bracket that held both the power steering pump and fan pulleys, as well as anchoring into the block through the water pump. It broke! So did the bolt into the block! As below. Bugger! Got together with Michael Haynes and we (mostly him with me supervising, and some drunks adding their wealth of knowledge) made a “splint” bracket to suit. Better than new! Also had to replace the water pump a few months after that, which meant taking all that off again…a mongrel job believe me! Thanks to Jeff Fripp and his stock of Rambler parts for helping out.

  

 The new splint fitted and still working fine after several months and lots of trips.

From 1972 until 1974, the Matador was utilized as a police vehicle, largely with the Los Angeles Police Department. Several Matadors remained in service until halfway through the 1980's. Other agencies utilized it as well, included the L.A. Sheriff's Department along with a variety of other law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada. It was also utilized by military police units. Inside the police version, AMC used a 401 cu in. V8 engine that out-powered many other police vehicles. The police version could achieve 0-60 mph in just barely 7 seconds and was quite comparable to the 2006 Hemi Charger police vehicle. The Matador police version could achieve a top speed of around 125 mph in just 42 seconds. 1974 was the final year for the LAPD's purchase of the Matador and the model soon faded in police fleets as they were replaced by downsized Chevrolet's, Ford's and Dodge.

I can hear it now…”One Adam 12, One Adam 12…see the man…” Remember?

   

 

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